Giant vinegaroons

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sschind

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Just picked up 8 of these incredible animals today. I was looking for a few pairs but I think only one of them was an adult so I bought 6 to increase my odds. The guy threw in his last two in the deal. One I am pretty sure is not long for this world as it is very lethargic (although the substrate was kind of dry in his container so maybe once I get him rehydrated maybe he will perk up) and the other has a weird lump on the side of the abdomen like a bulge of some sort but other wise looks fine. So basically I am counting on 6 of them. I have yet to set them up as I just got home and was looking for some last minute tips. I've read Orin's "Whipscorpions and Whipspiders: Culturing Gentle Monsters. If I had the money I'd be getting his "Forgotten Order of the Vinegaroon" Heck, who am I kidding, If I had the money I'd be getting all his new books, but right now I have to prioritize.

For an acclimation process I am planning on keeping them in 6 qt. Sterilite shoe boxes with about 2-3 inches of a mix of play sand and coco fiber kept moist. I'll place a flat piece of cork on one end and a shallow water dish on the other. I plan on drilling about a dozen small holes on each end for ventilation. Temps will be 75-80 degrees F. Feeding will be crickets and dubias (will they find mealworms if I put them in a dish, I don't want to let them burrow)

Does this sound like an adequate setup at least for a month or two to get them settled in. As funds allow I would like to move them up to the next size box.

My ultimate goal is to breed them but like I said I think only one is an adult, which is actually a good thing as I know they are not old specimens ready to die (the one lethargic one looks big enough to be an adult and that may be why he is not doing so well.

Anyway, I'm just so excited I had to let someone who won't think I am crazy know about my new critters. If i can find my camera battery charger I'll post some pictures.

 

HungryGhost

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Good luck with you're new critters. I've never dealt with them before, I don't think the missus would let them in the house.

 

Ranitomeya

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I've found that a food dish is unnecessary. They're usually voracious enough that they'll grab the food as soon as it hits the ground in front of them. They can sense vibrations and should be able to find food in a shallow dish if you decide to feed them that way.

Make sure to compress the substrate so that as they dig it won't collapse. They have no problems with excavating through compressed substrate and it'll also prevent the mealworms from burrowing too quickly. Provide them with a deep substrate and they'll be sure to dig down to the bottom and make a decently sized chamber where they spend most of their time.

I keep mine unheated and in the winter they block off their tunnel and become relatively inactive, so it's not necessary to keep them heated unless you experience freezing temperatures where they're being kept.

 

sschind

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I just set them up. The largest 1 is a little over 6 grams and the 5 smaller ones are about half that maybe a little more so I am assuming they are not mature yet. I hope they aren't because from what I could tell they all looked the same, all looked like females based on this picture.

http://www.bugnation.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=183&t=30104

A wholesaler that I use has 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon tanks on sale for 7 and 8 bucks. I think I might just load up on them rather than use the tubs. I'd like to get a bit deeper substrate than the tubs provide. I kind of want to do something a little different with my tarantulas anyway.

 
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Orin

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You do have M. giganteus? In this species it's the palps more than the genital operculum that is notably dimorphic and the immatures generally all look female.

 

sschind

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Big female vinny #1 had a sac of eggs tonight when I checked on her.

You do have M. giganteus? In this species it's the palps more than the genital operculum that is notably dimorphic and the immatures generally all look female.
Yup, M. giganteus and I know at least one of the big ones is a female because she has an egg sac.

I've read through your whipscorpions and whip spiders book and I'm sure I can keep things going all right for her but one thing concerns me. I only have her in a shallow tub with about 2 inches of coco fiber/sand mixture. I was planning on moving them all into a deeper substrate soon ( I just picked it up today) but I found the eggs tonight. My concern is that the substrate is not deep enough for her to be comfortable and I am leery about moving her for fear of damaging the egg sac or scaring her into eating it or dropping it.

I can set her up in a deeper tub with about 4 inches of substrate if you think it would be better. I'm thinking I should excavate a burrow for her if I do because she may not want to dig too much with the eggs.

Anyway, I really appreciate your input on the forums. It's great to have such an expert at hand.

Thanks for your time

Steve Schindler
 

Ranitomeya

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Avoid disturbing her. She may decide to eat the eggs if you move her and she feels like she's no longer secure enough to hold the eggs to term.

 

Orin

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I'm thinking your best bet would be to put a small coconut hut on top of her (without a large doorway and not overly large or small). Messing with unstable substrate and moving her are not good options.
 

sschind

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Thanks for the replies. I found my second adult female with a sack yesterday. She was already in a larger container with a deeper substrate and she dug herself a nice big hole.

the hard part will be not checking on them every single day for the next couple of months.

 

sschind

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Sorry about the updates. I lost the nice picture I had of the female with eggs and I just found my camera battery charger. The first one ate her eggs about 3 weeks ago. I had moved her (against advice) but she was fine for almost 2 weeks so i thought I was OK. The second batch hatched about 2 weeks ago and I just found my camera battery charger. She is in an opaque container so the pics aren't real good but you can get an idea.

I'm guessing they should be molting within a week or two if I have read the literature right. After that I am planning on keeping them separately in 4 oz condiment cups with an inch or so of damp cocofiber. This is how I have kept my baby tarantulas and I have neve had any problems. If there is a better way to do it please let me know. I'm hoping baby dubia nymphs will be OK for food. I really don't want to start having to deal with small crickets again

vinbab10.jpg


vinbab11.jpg


 

DinehCaveman

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I lived in West Texas, El Paso to be exact. I would have never thought of vinegaroons as pets or hobby arachnids, just pests if you get a bunch under your porch or house. To each his own, just like with mantids and tarantulas, but good luck with them. Hope the youngsters grow and produce for you.

 
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PookaDotted

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Very cool, but definitely a creature of nightmares hahaha or me anyways. I hope they grow big and fat for you!

 

JohnDapiaoen

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I lived in West Texas, El Paso to be exact. I would have never thought of vinegaroons as pets or hobby arachnids, just pests if you get a bunch under your porch or house. To each his own, just like with mantids and tarantulas, but good luck with them. Hope the youngsters grow and produce for you.
There are definately people out there who are interested in keeping these cool critters. I bred some a few years back and got tons of emails from around the globe asking if I could sell them some, unfortunately I was only able to ship in the US.

 

sschind

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I lived in West Texas, El Paso to be exact. I would have never thought of vinegaroons as pets or hobby arachnids, just pests if you get a bunch under your porch or house. To each his own, just like with mantids and tarantulas, but good luck with them. Hope the youngsters grow and produce for you.
One mans pest is another man's pet I guess.

I can see if you live in an area where they are common and can become pests why the wouldn't appeal to you. I just think they are fascinating. In that respect I am kind of glad I am stuck up here in the frozen tundra of northern Wisconsin. We don't have much of anything up here, except mosquitoes, and so anything even remotely exotic is a welcome addition. Strange as it sounds though one of my absolute favorite animals is the gray tree frog which we have in abundance.

 

Ranitomeya

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I sure wouldn't consider them pests, they're insectivorous and are extremely voracious ones at that.

They're nocturnal and tend to stay underneath things during the day, so you can expect them to take care of insects with similar habits such as cockroaches and other things we'd consider true pests.

 

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